A week after the poultry industry warned about the misinformation campaign linking the protein with the spread of the novel coronavirus (nCoV), both central and state Animal Husbandry commissionerates have stepped in to dispel rumours about any such links. Both commissionerates have issued clarifications saying the poultry meat had no link whatsoever with the spread of the virus.
Last week, poultry prices started crashing in Pune and other cities after rumours of a possible link between the protein and the virus surfaced on social media. The rumours prompted the Poultry Farmers and Breeders Association to lodge a complaint at the Shivajinagar police station about people who were spreading such misinformation. The association had also urged both central and state Animal Husbandry commissioners to intervene in the matter.
In an official communication, Animal Husbandry Commissioner of India, Praveen Malik, stated that there were no links between poultry meat and the disease. While the disease might have spread from animals and further investigations were required, poultry played no role in this, he said.
The Maharashtra Animal Husbandry Commissionerate also issued a letter to dispel the rumours and misinformation on the topic. The letter pointed out that the poultry industry was a source of livelihood for lakhs of farmers in the state. “Also, the industry is a major consumer of soyabean and maize grown in the state. Any misinformation campaign will reduce sales and can have a direct effect on the life and livelihoods of many farmers,” said state Animal Husbandry Commissioner Laxminarayan Mishra.
The letter clarified that no links have been found between the spread of the virus and the poultry industry.
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